As we approach your 14th birthday, it is with great trepidation and anxiety that I write this letter to you. I am so proud of the young lady you have become, but I feel I am fighting against the clock to instill in you the life lessons I hold so dear.
During times of conflict and political or religious civil unrest, the power of the human spirit's capacity for non-violent protest and kindness still shines through.
What we do know, though, is that in this age of headlines and catchphrases, in this era of 140 characters and small, square photos on smart phones, we'd do well to judge not as Twitter judges, but as Christ does.
"Mascotism," as we might name the use of terms, stereotypes, and images, touches on the very difficult issue of colonialism, domination and racism that is so deeply entrenched in American history and society.
Witches are tricky. If I say the word "witch" to you, I suspect an immediate image comes to mind. It involves a broomstick, a hat, an ill-tempered fel...
One of the reasons Jesus got a bad reputation amongst the religious community of his day was because he was not afraid to associate himself with mankind, all of mankind: The best and worst, the clean and unclean, the accepted and the rejected.
We all are familiar with Día de los Muertos -- the white face paint, the illustrations of grinning skulls, the panoramas of skeleton musicians and dancers. However, there is still great confusion in America about what this holiday actually signifies. Although it takes place at the same time of year as Halloween and shares the theme of ghostly visitors, there are fundamental differences.
Now we're searching for life in its pages, and questioning much of what we've been taught. We'll get some things wrong, for sure. But that's not because we have "a low view of Scripture"; it's because we still are looking through a glass darkly, and learning to read with eyes wide open.
Most citizens with progressive politics want policies predicated on the philosophy of humanism, not religious dogma. Internationally, progressives want full recognition of human rights. Does this mean that only atheists can be authentic progressives?
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is an ace up the strategic sleeve of the Turkish state; it can be used to advance peace and preach unity.
If congregations are serious about wanting to reach out to others, they might want to explore the power of the "reset." The methods of welcome in a congregation can be perfunctory, habitual, and lacking energy.
All Saints' Day usually recalls our communion with of our spiritual ancestors throughout the centuries, celebrating our unity with saints as far away as North Africa in the fourth century and as close as our deceased relatives. But All Saints' Day also reminds us of our bond with all believers.
I'm no Doogie Howser, but isn't this medically certifiable in the real world? If the guy at the corner bar, or at the table next to you, says such nuttiness, don't you move away? I know I do. Weirdo's bother me. Call me old-fashioned. This is Fox News, 2014, stirring the pot. It's what they do.
It seems relevant to me that Christianity itself was born out of a group of the faithful struggling to make sense of a revelation, and doing so in light of a tradition that rejected the very person through whom the truth was revealed.
Perhaps most importantly, Barbara Mahany lives what she writes. This woman is the real deal, reaching out to the wounded world with enlightened care and compassion. A former pediatric oncology nurse she is both wise and experienced in the mysteries of interrupted cycles of life.
One of the greatest challenges any Christian faces is the risk of falling in love with the idea of being like Jesus (WWJD?) while failing to recognize what a life lived in his footsteps truly looks like.